Property from a Private American Collector

Re-Ornamented II

Re-Ornamented II
nine from an edition of ten
digital cibachrome print mounted on Diasec
38 x 30 in. (96.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Executed in 2004; nine from an edition of ten
Saffonart, 4 September 2008, lot 120
Rashid Rana: Identical Views, exhibition catalogue, New Delhi, Mumbai and New York, 2004-2005, pp. 17-18 (another from the edition illustrated)
New Delhi, Nature Morte Gallery, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, 2005 (one from the edition)

Mumbai, Chatterjee & Lal, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, February 2005 (one from the edition)

New York, Bose Pacia, Rashid Rana: Identical Views, July - August 2005 (one from the edition)

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Lot Essay

In Re-Ornamented II, Rana uses tiny pixelated images from aspects of Pakistani popular culture to create a larger image that serves as commentary on contemporary culture and the intersection of tradition and modernity. "I have been borrowing from broad visual culture since the mid-1990s, when I made a conscious decision to borrow everything - starting from the images to the title of the work. There is nothing original to begin with, but strangely, by using this tactic my work became uniquely mine and thus original. I do not think it is so much to do with a greater reality and un-reality, but more to do with reinventing through reality - and to show a kind of paradox that we fail to notice even though it is what makes us who or what we are." (R. Punj, 'Rashid Rana', Asian Arts Newspaper, London, on-line edition, May 2010)
From afar, Re-Ornamented II, appears to be a Mughal building, in fact, it is an architectural detail from the famous Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore. However, on closer examination we find that the image is actually composed of popular consumer brand logos, images from advertisements and storefront signage, that you could find anywhere in South Asia.

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